Senor and Linda Lou have been in Pueblo Alamos, Sonora, Mexico for 10 years.
Every day brings a new discovery.
They are still working on the casa............Senor says, it won't be long.........but Linda Lou says, it won't be long until what..............stay tuned to find out what's next.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hmmm, Hmmmm Good!

Hola! There is a storm brewing. We have some clouds rolling in and I am happy to say that we have had about four really good afternoon storms this week. What I am not happy about is that I spent most of those days in bed with a terrible bronchial cold.

On Friday morning I told Senor I had to have an inhaler or I had to go to the IMSS clinic.
I could barely breathe and it was a little on the scary side.
Senor left me wondering where I put the clinic papers and returned with an inhaler. I was better within minutes.

I have chronic bronchitis, but have not had much of a problem with it in over ten years. I used to fight my Washington doctor to get an inhaler. No, that is abuse of an inhaler and you do not have asthma, he would say. I eventually found a doctor to prescribe an inhaler, but like I said, I have not this kind of problem in a long time.

But I know for a fact if I use one, I get better faster and evidently, you can just buy them over the counter here.

So what might once have been a two week bronchitis attack and once, sixty three days of laryngitis, at Christmas time, will never be again. Because I am in Mexico and I have an inhaler! I am very happy and on the quick mend.
The yard is now jungle territory and today, with more energy than I have had in four days, I checked a few things out.

Lift off has occurred at the homeland.

I was able to finally get some close ups of the nest. You can see some of the seeds and pods, pieces of bark, and most interestingly, the spider webs mama used to build this sturdy little home.

I think the little brown droppings are hummingbird poop! Never in my life did it occur to me that I would be taking photos of hummingbird guano. How exciting!

When we were last in Obregon, I discovered hummingbird feeders for sale at Home Depot. Today I finally made my sugar water, 4 parts water to 1 part sugar, and I bring it just to what I call the 'snapping point', where the water starts to pop a little and is getting real close to boiling. Then I turn off the burner and let it sit until it cools.
So, now, just in case Mama BoPeep and babies Roy and Eugene, are hungry and still hanging around these parts, they can have some of my hmmm, hmmm, good, sugar water!

Thunder! Lightning........and the clothes are on the line! gotta go! adios, linda lou

Sunday, August 22, 2010

All Billowed Up

Buenas tardes. It is getting late in the afternoon. Almost every day we get these huge billowing clouds and then, poof, they are gone as fast as they billowed. Then the chipichipi comes in the night and a light rain, barely audible, covers us and leaves before the sun comes up.Now just how many times have I said that I would tell you tomorrow what we did last Friday night? Only now it has been two Friday nights. I got too wrapped up in the little birds and so now, I am going to tell you.

As you already know, many folks here have mango orchards. Below is one down the street.

Gorgeous, juicy sweet mangoes. You just peel the skin back and slurp it in. Each year the mangoes ripen anywhere between late July and mid to late August. To celebrate the mango season, a lovely little lady who lives in a lovely but not so little old colonial home in the historic district, hosts a 'Mango Fandango'. Everyone is invited, but to come one must bring a mango dish in one of three categories: main dish, salad or dessert, and then, whatever you want to drink.

She sets elaborate, beautiful tables with all of the dishes, and while guests mingle, appointed judges sit in secrecy and eat some of all the dishes and choose winners in all three categories.

This is where we were on Friday, the thirteenth, when a huge storm hit. It took out the power in the historic district, the river ran through the street and we spent most of the evening by candlelight. Wonderful!!!

And look!

That just happens to be a ribbon and I happen to be the owner of it! TA DA!

It says three because desserts were the third category and I won the category with my 'Warm Mango Pudding' recipe.
I was not even paying attention when they gave the prizes, I was talking with someone and Senor had to yell twice to me from across the room that I won. I don't think he exactly billowed but I think he was proud.

I have said many times, I am not a food blogger, so I never think to take photos of what I cook and seriously if you had told me I was going to win the PRIZE, I would have laughed, only because this has to be the simplest recipe in the world. You know how we cook: the asador, the electric burner hot plate, the little toaster oven, then there is the convection oven, which I still cannot figure out how to use and of course, the crock pot.

Admitting though that this is an excellent recipe, not just for mangoes, but any fruit, I am going to share it with you. I know that mangoes are pretty cheap right now up in the states and most of you who read this blog, HI MOM!!!!!! do not have your own mango orchard. So go to the market and buy mangoes for this. It will be worth it and no laughing when you read how simple this winning recipe is.

8 mangoes, sliced and squeezed to get a little juice (squeeze the pit and let the juice run)

3 T melted butter

1 1/2 cups yellow cake mix

Coat the inside of a crock pot with cooking spray. Lay the mangoes and the juice in the bottom. Sprinkle the cake mix over it and drizzle the butter on top. Cook on high for about 3 hours or until the top begins to brown and get all billowed up. Serve it warm, great with ice cream on top.

There you have it! You can play around and add more mangoes and all the cake mix if you want.

You can use blackberries, but add a little sugar, fresh peaches, add a little sugar also. If the fruit is real sweet, like the mango is, you will not need the sugar.

Simple and simply worth a winning ribbon!

The new canalis are going in. They were made somewhere here in town. In the photo below you can see the old canalis, above Senor's head. They were pretty much just metal pipes. This photo was taken in 2007, the first time we saw this little old casa. Senor is standing where now is the first section of the new portal.

Senor and Umberto are also finishing up the parapet wall there. The rocks hold the form and the canalis in place until the concrete dries. Wouldn't builders just love this little trick up in the states.......

Below, they are pouring the cement for the next extension of the portal. Five days for that one beam to get hard and cured. I cannot remember how many beams there are to go, too many.

In the 2007 photo above, Senor would be standing right about where the ladder on the right is, under the portal. We have come a long way. We have a long way to go.

All right, you knew I would not end this post without showing you what the babies are up to. I can no longer go out and stand on the ladder for photos. That mother is always somewhere, hidden in the trees, but watching every move I make. If I even begin walking toward the tree, from around the corner of the house, she comes at me. So, yesterday I took one hundred and four photos, all from the kitchentool room window. I got one good photo. I am not kidding you. One. And here it is.

They are testing their wings!!! When I watch them, they flutter up and their little chests are fluffed and all billowed up. The mother hovers higher and higher each feeding, forcing them to keep rising up. She is making sure they are ready to go.
Time to go see if mother is doing her job and giving them their late afternoon snack!
adios! linda lou

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mother Heningbirding

Hola! I am obsessed with the little nest outside the kitchen tool room window.

Many times throughout the day I find myself wandering into the room.

Oh, am I in the kitchen tool room? I will get some water and well, as long as I am here.................. thank goodness, it is still hanging, yes, gently moving in the breeze, oh, good, there is mama..........oh, no, it is beginning to sprinkle, only light drops, nest is okay.

In fact, oh look, I am in the kitchen tool room right now. How did that happen?
I may as well have a quick look.

Wait!! That does not look like the mother to me! Maybe it is just the viewing angle, but this bird looks fatter and squatter than the real mama. Could this be a nest robber? Could it be the father? The aunt? Or maybe the fat old grandma ma?
I just looked back at the other pictures of the mama. This just does not look like her. I am going to go have a look outside.

And you are coming with me.
Watch your step, we are going into a danger zone. I should have a hard hat for you but I don't.
That bougainvillea will try and get you, it has sharp thorns. Just duck your head.

we are going down to the ladder, to the next to the last window.........

........................under the orange blooming fuegos.

the nest is just to the left of the ladder, the old fatty has flown off, you have to hold the ladder for me.....................
shhhhhh, there it is! it looks like a walking bird, with pointy eyes, and breasts, long legs and bird hair flowing down its back.
okay, i am up on the ladder..............
...................and i see two little birds, are they alive?

...............omg, eyes are opened, that made me jump!.
okay they are alive and well, no fatty nest robbers, that must have been the mama or a good relative.

you can go back to sleep little guys, we are leaving.

We are going to research this...............only the mama cares for them, no daddies, no grandma mas, and no nest robber hummingbirds. They are hatched after two to three weeks and will leave the nest after two to three weeks. I think they are about a week old. So we have some time to keep watching them. Did you see their fluffy down? It is just below their heads, on the right.

After Friday's heavy rain I thought about putting an umbrella out there, up in the trees and then I also thought, I really better not mess with this. What if the wind knocks the umbrella down onto the nest and the nest falls on the ground and the little birds die? I worried about them all night.

But did you see how tightly they are jammed into that nest? I don't think any water could possibly fit in there. And during Sunday's chipichipi, I saw mama on the nest, with her winds spread. I guess that is all the protection they need.

When I am not watching my nest, I am glued to Weather Underground, trying to figure out what the problem is. Reports are that there is too much dry air out there. Well, even I can figure that out, if it weren't dry, for crying out loud, it would be wet. The Sonoran monsoon season does not peak until the end of next month, according to other reports, so there is still time. Part of the reason we live here year round is the summer storms, so we will hope for a weather change.
Tomorrow I will tell you about the event we went to last Saturday and show you what I came home with. I promise to take a break from all this mother heningbirding I am doing...............

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Little Nest

Buenos dias! Not a cloud in the sky today. But last night we had a huge storm. We were at an event (which I will tell you about another day). The water streamed out of the canalis and into the courtyard. I looked out to the street and the water was running like a river. About a foot deep, which is why the walkways in Alamos are built up so high, this new river rushed to gather around the Plaza square.

So, we are expecting a rather hot and humid day and perhaps later this afternoon a new storm will gather and explode around us.

This will be a brief post as I am painting the wooden cupboards today. And, by the way, they look superb!

I was up at daybreak because I was worried again about the little nest. I was afraid I might see it lying on the ground, destroyed by Mother Nature herself.
Take a look.

I saw the mother at the nest and once she flew off, I got out the ladder so I could peek inside.
Off to paint! Que le vaya bien. linda lou

Thursday, August 12, 2010

18 Drops of Rain


Senor's new favorite pastime is climbing up on the roof for the sunset. When he is up there he says he can look down the street and see other people up on their roof. I am glad he likes it up there.

He does take nice photos. The skies are spectacular with color.

But we have no wind. It is unearthly still and quiet. We have no wind and no one goes outside unless it is time for the sunset or early in the morning before sunrise.

The bugs are awful. The gnat and sweat rags are not working on the bobos, the little black gnats that get in your eyes and ears and as a last resort, try to find coolness inside your nose. The pinnicadas should only be coming out at night, but during the day, the fat black beetles are trying to get inside cooler rooms and the crickets who are already inside are right there, ready with arms, to fight them off and protect their territory.
Nice and Soft Avon products in my clear storage bin do not work, OFF does not work. Later this afternoon, when we go outside to watch the birds and the swirling dark clouds that do nothing but swirl and be dark, I will put out an electric fan. Maybe that will keep the unwanteds away.

This past January, during FAOT, we had several days of slamming, driving rain, all unexpected, all out of the blue and all commencing on us from a dark overcast assortment of swirling clouds. We are only supposed to get little chipichipi's in January. So, maybe we have met our quota, we've got our lot already.

Now, this is fine with me. I do not want rain anymore. I have made this decision.
That does not mean I don't get to complain about not getting any, but I don't want any.

Last night I counted 18 drops and if you do not think I really counted, then think again.

I hope we only get another 18 this afternoon. No more than that.
Looking outside the kitchentool room window I can see the clouds coming, but they are hardly moving because the wind is not coming with them.
But look what else I see.

18 drops of rain must seem like a flood to her.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Small Town Trip

Buen dia. I can count on one hand the number of rains we have had. While everything looks very green, we are really short in rain this year. I did not say short in water, just short in rain.
Today looks promising, it is very cloudy out and a nice fat cloud is sitting on top of Mt. Alamos, but who really knows. I hear it is falling in Mexico City and Chiapis. Maybe it will just keep on moving this way.

On Sunday, bright and early, Senor asked me if I wanted to take the back road to Masiaca and then over to Navajoa for some grocery shopping. Of course I jumped on that and was ready to go in under five minutes. After working hard all week I know Senor enjoys a quiet Sunday, but he also knows I like to go.

We have taken you to Masiaca before. To refresh your memory, we will drive out past the Mirador lookout on a dirt road which becomes paved until KM 7. This is the road that a lot folks still think is paved all the way to Masiaca............well, it isn't. This is also the road that a lot of folks still think is the back road to El Fuerte....................well, it isn't.

This road will be unpaved for about 13 KM's and will end up in the small town of Masiaca and then the road will continue and take you to Highway 15.
Unless, you choose to turn left at the El Chinal sign, now that is the real back road to El Fuerte, roughly all 8 to 9 hours of it.

I think when we took you there before it may have been winter. Now having received some rainfall, you can see how lush and green it is and how narrow the road can be.

We have 4 wheel drive and very high clearance. You can get by without the 4 wheel drive, unless the rain does decide to come and you get caught in it. I wouldn't take a sedan for sure.
On this trip I wanted to focus on all the churches we could find. There are so many small pueblos to drive through on this route and there is a church in everyone.

There is always a lot of farm life and wildlife. We saw a few roadrunners zipping across the road, lots of goats and cows hanging around. We saw a big ground bird we had not seen before and could not identify, and lots of dove and quail. A lot of new colts were out for the afternoon with the family.

Below is the sign where you want to turn to go on the real back road to El Fuerte. But we are going on to Masiaca today.
These are some of the beautiful little churches we saw.
I actually kept a small piece of paper with the pueblo names and the church descriptions just so I could tell you the name of each town. That way when you decide to take your own trip on this route, you would be able to identify the churches. But, oh me, that paper flew out the window.
So, just relax and enjoy the scenery.

Another little colt, just hanging around while his folks chat with some neighbors across the street.

When we get to Highway 15, if we turn south we will go to Sinaloa and then on to Mazatlan. But we are going north up to Navajoa to the supermarket.

However if we cross the highway we will go to Los Bocas and the beach. I was pretty excited when, after waiting in line behind many parked cars whose drivers were making purchases in the Tecate station there on the corner, Senor crossed the street and we went on to the beach.

I would never pass up a trip to the beach.

A quick stop for grilled chicken on the roadside.............................

A cold coca cola from the abarrotes..................................

and, like magic, you are at the beach............................

When we finally got to Navajoa in the late afternoon, we were just about too pooped to shop. So, in and out we were in less than five minutes and off for home.
A wonderful way to end a busy week!
adios! linda lou